April 19, 2018

NY State Thruway Authority Worker Pleads Guilty to Workers’ Comp Fraud

Buffalo, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott recently announced the guilty plea of a New York State Thruway Authority worker who defrauded the Workers’ Compensation system and stole over $5,000 in benefits to which he was not entitled.

Dean Anthony, of Sanborn, pleaded guilty in Town of Cambria Court to Petit Larceny. He is due to pay full restitution of $5,211.81 at the time of sentencing on June 5, 2018.

An investigation by Inspector General Leahy Scott found that Anthony had been receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits since May 2017 when he allegedly suffered a debilitating injury while moving a guardrail at his Thruway job. Following the reported injury, Anthony stopped working and began collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits, most recently at a rate of $491.68 per week.

From June through August 2017, however, Anthony was observed installing and servicing swimming pools for a local pool contractor while claiming a total disability made him unable to return to his position at the New York State Thruway Authority. Throughout that period, Anthony continued to improperly collect Workers’ Compensation benefits totaling more than $5,000 and submitted documentation to the State Insurance Fund asserting that he was not working at all during that period.

“This defendant falsely claimed he was unable to work while enriching himself with payments to which he was not entitled,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “I will continue dedicating the resources of my position and office to protect the benefits meant to assist honest, hard-working New Yorkers.”

Under State law, employers are required to maintain Workers’ Compensation coverage for their employees, and employees are expected to provide truthful information regarding their work activity to insurance carriers and the Workers’ Compensation Board during the time they are receiving benefits.

Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked the New York State Insurance Fund for their assistance with the investigation, the New York State Police for their assistance with the arrest and Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek and her office for prosecuting this matter.

Source: NY State Inspector General’s Office

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